Today, YouTube Originals premiered the first two short films from “Bear Witness, Take Action 3,” a six-part special event series hosted by Common and Keke Palmer. New specials drop December 7-8 only on YouTube.
From the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, the third installment of “Bear Witness, Take Action” focuses on issues and stories as seen through Black creators’ perspectives, with bespoke content pieces around race, culture, and everything in between. Returning hosts Keke Palmer and Common sit down with each creator to unpack their short film and help viewers understand the “what” and “why” behind the creators’ work and how they can help change the world. In addition to having the specials featured on each creators’ YouTube channels, a comprehensive version including all content with the host Q&As will be released on the YouTube Originals channel.
Watch the following short films now:
“Tracing the Trend” Presented by Asia Jackson
In this special, YouTube star Asia Jackson explores hip hop culture’s influence on Asian culture where she interviews artist Guapdad 4000 and experts Sophia Chang and Danyel Smith to analyze the origins of popular hip hop trends across music and fashion in an attempt to give credit where credit is due.
“Super Zeroes” Presented by Raynday Gaming
Narrated by three-time Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, this animated short seeks to champion diversity by showing the power of a marginalized group of mislabeled misfits a.k.a., The Super Zeros. Set in a place far, far away, yet not much different than our world, this story is about a special group of unlikely heroes who, despite all odds, decide to take on a formidable foe.
Tune in December 7-8 for the following specials:
“What Say What?!” Presented by Hoorae on Issa Rae Presents
Hosted by comedian Teddy Ray, “What Say What?!” will give his featured artist, Smino, a platform to speak his mind…and his lyrics. No bright lights on a big stage. Everything is stripped down to its core… the set, the music, and the artist… leaving room for the artists to invite their fans into their world like never before.
“HIV: Living Positively” Presented by King of Reads
Justin James invites viewers to hear what it means to be a Black, queer person living with HIV by hosting a roundtable discussion with other members of the community: Dominique Jackson, George M. Johnson Byron Jamal, Chef M, Marnina Miller and Kia LaBeija. By listening to their stories, James will highlight the importance of so many who haven’t been able to do the same because of barriers to care, shame and stigma.
“Sole Swap with Jacques Slade” Presented by Jacques Slade:
Jacques Slade, one of the most well-known and respected voices in the world of sneakers, leaves his collection behind to step into the shoes of the world’s most engaging personalities. For this episode, we meet with musical artist and burgeoning activist,
Tinashe. Through the lens of this day in the life experience, Jacques will find out what it takes for her to keep creative control over her art, address her fears head on, and live her life as an advocate for social justice.
“If I Ruled the World” Presented by The Grapevine.
The Grapevine hosts, Ashley Akunna and Donovan Thompson, invite actor Logan Browning (Dear White People) and Dr. Mariel Buqué to discuss the state of society and what it could look like if we dared to imagine a better version of the world. This utopia will appear on screen via animation which gives the guest and YouTube an incredible opportunity to paint the picture of a more positive Earth that could come about through activism, change, and a revolution of the mind and spirit.
“Bear Witness, Take Action 3” has handed the mic to Black creators to each explore a topic related to the diversity of Black life and culture. For each project, creators were provided with funding and assigned a production partner to help execute their collective vision and showcase the uniqueness behind each creator. The first two installments of “Bear Witness, Take Action” premiered in 2020, and the special was the first project to come from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories. This global fund will be used to acquire and produce YouTube Originals programming, and to directly support Black creators and artists to help them thrive on YouTube.
“Bear Witness, Take Action 3” is produced by Hoorae Media and Fly On The Wall. Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Alex Piper is Head of Unscripted for YouTube Originals. Margaret Burris, Nicole Emanuele, Amanda Olszewski and Sam Burwell from the YouTube Originals development team will oversee the project for the global platform.
This special event series continues YouTube’s commitment to bringing exceptional content focused on racial justice to viewers around the world, including “Onyx Family Dinner,” a series gathering the multi-generational Onyx family for open conversations about life and what’s going on in the world over dinner; “The Outsiders,” untold stories of young Black visionaries shaping our future; “I Promise,” a story of resilience in the face of adversity that shares a new model for urban, public education; “Recipe for Change,” a celebration of global Asian and Pacific Islander culture featuring Michelle Kwan, Olivia Munn, and Jay Shetty; “Barbershop Medicine,” which aims to put the “public” back in Public Health and explore the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity; and “Resist,” a documentary series from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.